VRLAB: an interactive 3D Learning Environment

Konstantinos Barbatsis, Panagiotis Fotaris, Theodoros Mastoras, Athanasios Manitsaris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The recent information and networks explosion has greatly affected the fields of education and distance learning, leading to the development of educational material that provides support for interactive communication between trainers and learners. Web technology in particular stands as a medium with great educational value, mainly due to its ability to grant access to training material without any spatial or temporal constraints, thus motivating and attracting new users to experience this novel form of learning. As the Internet constantly evolves, new technologies tend to influence the domains of e-learning. The combination of the Web, multimedia and 3D graphics has resulted to the implementation of new training tools bearing advanced navigational and interactive functionalities along with appealing user interfaces that encourage learners to actively participate in the learning process. Moreover, 3D Virtual Worlds have surfaced making available new forms of visualization, distribution and presentation of training material. The objectives of the present paper are to discuss the educational value of 3D virtual worlds and the emerging challenges regarding the analysis, design and development of these innovative user interfaces. VRLAB is an e-learning system created solely to address the aforementioned issues. It offers a three dimensional multimedia user interface with extended interactivity, permitting learners to participate virtually in studying and performing simulated lab experiments for a course in Computer Graphics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-36
Number of pages7
JournalWSEAS Transactions on Computers
Volume5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006

Keywords

  • E-Learning
  • 3D virtual worlds
  • 3D virtual environments
  • virtual reality
  • multimedia

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